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Death Records

Death records are not public records and are only available to those who have a personal or property right interest (“property right” is defined as something that it is owned, tangible such as a car title or a property deed) with the decedent. If you are not a relative of the deceased person, a letter or document from the office or agency that needs the death certificate must accompany the request.

The Illinois Department of Public Health, Division of Vital Records offers 2 types of copies of death certificates. A certified copy is suitable for legal purposes (e.g., to settle an estate, to claim a will or for insurance purposes) and the uncertified copy is for genealogical purposes.

Obtain a Death Certificate

Certified Copy of a Death Certificate

A certified copy of a death certificate is used for all legal purposes.

Uncertified Copy of a Death Certificate

An uncertified copy is a plain paper copy of a death certificate. Uncertified copies, often used for genealogy or research, are for informational use only and cannot be used for legal purposes.

What you need to provide

In order to request a copy of a death certificate you must complete the form Application for Search of Death Record Files (go to FORMS in the right-hand column) in its entirety and submit it along with:

A valid government issued photo identification (ID) that must be readable and is not expired/out of date (if an ID is not provided, unreadable, or expired, the request will be returned unprocessed)

To learn more about valid IDs, see RESOURCES in the right-hand column and click on IDs

To learn more about the required costs/fees, see RESOURCES in the right-hand column and click on Costs/Fees

How to order

To order a Death Certificate, go to Obtain a Death Certificate in the left-hand column.

Correct a Death Certificate

Go to Correct a Death Certificate in the left-hand column.

Information for Researchers

Researchers have 2 methods to obtain copies of death certificates. To learn more, go to Researchers in the left-hand column.

Resources

Forms

Laws & Rules